In mid-September Senior Conservation Officer Lucas Swanson of Bonners Ferry was contacted by a concerned archery hunter stating he heard two gunshots. The hunter decided to see what happened and he found two guys standing by a dead cow elk and some piles of hay. There is no baiting and no rifle season for cow elk. There is an archery only bull elk hunt.
The next morning, Officer Swanson located two piles of hay and some blood on the ground. He followed some fresh drag marks and UTV tire tracks along an old roadbed to a gut pile, a cow elk head, and hide. Examining the hide, Officer Swanson found what appeared to be a bullet hole. Officer Swanson then followed the UTV tracks to an adjacent residence that belonged to Nicholas Constantinedes, of Naples Idaho.
Based on the information he gathered, Officer Swanson obtained a search warrant for the garage and outbuildings of Mr. Constantinedes’ residence. The next day, Officer Swanson and other conservation officers served a search warrant on Mr. Constantinedes residence. Mr. Constantinedes told the officers that he had helped his friend Roger Doering drag an elk out with his UTV, but that Mr. Doering left with the elk.
District Conservation Officer Josh Stanley later contacted Doering’s father, who stated that his son Roger lived at the Northwoods Tavern, in Naples. Josh left his phone number, and left the elder Doering’s house to go find the tavern. On the way, Roger Doering called Josh and said he shot the elk.
Later in the day Officers Stanley and Swanson met with Roger Doering. Mr. Doering told the officers he had placed the hay to draw in elk, he missed a few times with his bow, and that he got frustrated and killed the cow with his rifle and did not tag it. Mr. Doering was issued several citations, to include take of a big game animal with a firearm during an archery only season, which is a flagrant violation.
A few days later both men appeared in court and pled guilty. Roger Doering was fined $1000, ordered to pay a $750 civil penalty for the loss of the elk, $250 for processing the elk meat, and his hunting privileges were revoked for five years. Mr. Constantinedes was fined $200 and had his hunting privilege revoked for one year.
These men would not have been brought to justice were it not for a concerned citizen’s willingness to stand up for what is right, and make a simple phone call.